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proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
Category: Parenting
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Experience:  Teacher 20+ years, Parent, Expert Mentor
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Please help me ! we moved this month to a new school district

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Please help me ! we moved this month to a new school district and city my twin girls are having a extremely hard time. They are 10 year old twins. My youngest twin is having the hardest time locking herself in the bathroom in the morning won't get dressed or pick out her clothes, yelling crying, and crying herself to sleep. We have an appt. with a counselor on the 14th. What can I do untill then ?I have talked to a school counselor and she has paired them up with someone in her class. They want their old friends back, and not someone who "has to" be with them. Please help us
Hello and Thank You for consulting Just Answer. I am sorry to hear about the problems with your twins. Why did you move? Were they in the same class at the previous school? When did they first attend the new school? Are both parents living in the home? Are they usually shy or out going children? Thanks in advance for the background information.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I had a falling out with my aunt and we left abruptly. We also went thru a very terrible divorce previously. Their father is working out of the country, he is absent. They are usually very outgoing and social. They have not been in same class since kindergarten.
They have been through a great deal. They are probably feeling a great deal of anxiety every day. It is hard for them, especially your youngest to cope.Nonetheless, your daughters' feelings (tantrums) about school are their way of dealing with a problem that is very real to them. They are obviously afraid of the other unfamiliar places and people in a new environment. They may be even afraid of being bullied which has become an ever increasing problem. They may have developed a social anxiety disorder which is present in .1% of children or about 1 in a thousand. The fear of school social situations has provoked anxiety which can turn into panic, crying, and tantrums. The combination of unknown teachers, unknown students, and the school itself can make your daughter(s) so phobic that she(they) refuse(s) to go to school.However, do not allow them stay home from school. The more they are exposed to social situations, the more they will feel less anxious. You may need to discuss the issues with their teachers so that they can assist your daughters with their fears. The teachers can provide a special buddy for your daughters in social situations. Do not be ashamed of reaching out to your daughters' teacher. She can assist with the behavior modification greatly. Additionally if there is a school psychologist, let them know about your daughters' issues and he/she may be able to provide intervention and coping strategies that your daughter can utilize in school social settings.In the meantime, you can help your daughters at home through role playing activities. You act as an unfamiliar student and your daughter acts as herself. Approach your daughters by saying something mean or something friendly like the kids may say to her. Teach her how to respond. Do this several times a week until the responses become almost natural and they are not fearful. They need to be mentally ready to handle any situation. You can arm them with the ways in which they should respond.One positive aspect is that your daughters had many friends before. They will make new friends in time. Children with a serious social anxiety disorder would be very lonely and not have many friends. If anxiety was becoming worse, there would be problems in the classroom as well like fearing to read aloud in class, fearing to speak to adults, fearing to start a conversation, fearing to write on the board in front of the class, fearing to answer questions in class, fearing to work and play with other kids, fearing to ask the teacher for help, and fearing to eat in the cafeteria.Your daughters will be fine. They need a little direction. With the guidance from you and support from teachers and other school personnel, they can get through this stage in their life. Continue to stress the importance of attending school and staying positive. As their parent, you have such a powerful influence over them. Believe in your parenting abilities and believe in your daughters. You both CAN do it. You may also want to seek outside of school counseling to assist the children in dealing with the divorce and your abrupt departureHope this was helpful. Have a wonderful day. If you need more assistance, please feel free to let me know. Take care.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
just wondered if i could get some direction or some guidance on what to do when they won't listen when I tell them to get ready. They are throwing tantrums crying. I am afraid their anxiety has gotten worse. my youngest said she is having a hard time talking to kids in school.
Hello....stepped out for a moment. Will have the answer within the hour.
First of all, do not nag when they are throwing crying tantrums. You need to get control of them now even though they are under a great deal of stress. State what you want done and the consequences that will occur before the tantrums start. Ask them if they understand what you want done. You are trying to get a simple YES answer. Then wait to see how they respond. If the crying starts, enforce the consequence. They want attention and cannot express themselves in words. But stop giving into their attention seeking behavior. You are going to have to start ignoring the tantrums. When they have a tantrum and you attend to them, they are in control. They must learn to respond to your requests with sullenness and obedience. Make sure that they know what is expected on a normal basis. Use a star chart if you need to and so many stars earned results in a reward or a special outing. When they are having a tantrum, stay calm but firm and loving. You need to help establish good coping habits for a peaceful family.

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